Included among many wedding etiquette dilemmas is how to handle the all-important wedding speeches. Do you have your best man and maid/matron of honor do the speeches? Do you allow other bridal party members to speak? And how do you say “no” to someone who wants or expects to do the speech (without hurting their feelings)?
First, my (unofficial) opinion is that you—and only you—should be able to designate who and how many people should speak on your behalf. Of course, if a parent has helped pay for a wedding, they should at least be given the chance to say a word or two themselves. Otherwise, choose the guest/guests who will best represent you and your relationship. After all, isn’t that what you’re celebrating? You can celebrate other relationships in other ways, in other settings.
When I was getting married, I made my sister my matron of honor. She assumed being matron of honor meant she would make a speech on my behalf, but my fiancé and I were mortified at the prospect of her armed with a microphone in public. While I’m sure she wouldn’t purposely try to be hurtful, she’s known for being somewhat blunt (and even rude) at times. When she found out I had asked another bridesmaid to speak, she was hurt and offended.
I don’t regret not allowing my sister to speak at our wedding, but I do regret the way I handled the situation. Saying “yes” to someone questionable speaking just because of etiquette isn’t worth the stress and wedding nightmares leading up to your wedding…but you also don’t want to add drama by not respecting someone’s feelings. Here are a few ways to delicately say “no” to someone who wishes to make a wedding speech:
* Head off the drama in advance: If you know right away you’ll break from tradition by designating someone other than “expected” to give a speech, notify invested parties as early as possible. In my case, when I told my sister she’d be my matron of honor I should have also warned her those duties wouldn’t include a speech.
* Explain why you want someone else (or no one) to speak: You will owe an explanation. Instead of going into details about why you don’t want that person to speak, focus on why you’d want someone else to speak instead (“We’ve been friends with so-and-so for so long and I thought they would be best suited to talk about our relationship” or “We would rather just go straight from dinner to dancing”).
* Make that person feel important in another way: You can always trade a speech for another honor, such as making a reading during the ceremony, greeting guests or allowing that person to make a speech at another event (such as a bachelor party or rehearsal dinner). Or, simply make some time for that person amidst the wedding chaos and let them know how much their friendship or relationship means to you.
with love & style from: Sandy D. (bridal blogger extraordinaire)
(photos from Pixabay, Pexels)
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